Sailing the Indonesian Jewel of Raja Ampat
- Vessel: Katharina
- Where: Sorong, Indonesia
- Duration: 10 days
- Embark: Sorong, West Papau - 30 December 2023, 08:00
- Disembark: Sorong, West Papau - 8 January 2024, 13:00
Discover the jewels of Indonesia as traditional wooden boat Katharina sails to explore the islands of Raja Ampat.
Set the sails with Katharina and her crew as she explores the breath-taking Indonesian Marine Park of Raja Ampat from the city of Sorong.
Glide through fairy tale landscapes of limestone spires, mysterious caves, ancient rock paintings and endless secluded coves teaming with corals and colourful fish. Listen as the sulphur-crested cockatoo flies amongst luscious green landscapes and swim with the other-worldly, rare stingless jellyfish in a forest pool of evolution.
- Raja Ampat National Park
- Birds of Paradise
- World famous Coral Reefs
- Rainforest trekking
- Private ensuite cabins
A day to day guide
D A Y 1
A tour leader will meet you at the airport and take you to the boat in the Indonesian city of Sorong on the West coast of the island of West Papau. Once you’ve settled in, it’s time to set course for the southernmost islands of the Raja Ampat National Park. After an alfresco lunch, guests can enjoy the first swim and snorkel through the coral reef before we continue to our overnight anchorage. Enjoy pre-dinner cocktails as the sun goes down and the crew continue cruising the boat through the night.
D A Y 2
Wake up on the east side of the Misool archipelago, a picturesque jungle covered chain of islands. Limestone inlets with spectacular coral reefs offer some fantastic snorkelling opportunities. Spend the day exploring this archipelago, snorkelling, swimming and kayaking in crystal clear waters. Explore ashore with some island trekking or relax on board with a book before a quiet night under a starry sky.
D A Y 3
After an early breakfast, guest can start the day with a swim and snorkel through the fascinating dome-roofed sea cave with giant stalagmites and stalactites. Next, explore the mysterious stingless jellyfish lake, one of only 20 in the world where these incredible creatures live. Visit the eery skull cairns in sea-cave cemeteries and prehistoric cave painting estimated to be between 3000 – 5000 years old, depicting various human figures, fish and flowers.
D A Y 4
Rise early to wander through the misty forest to try and spot the Lesser Birds of Paradise. A wild and unforgettable experience for those lucky enough to spot them dancing in the trees. Spend the afternoon with some underwater snorkelling exploration as we discover some of the best coral reefs in the world before watching the sunset on the horizon as the boat makes it way to Batanta island.
D A Y 5
The island of Batanta offers a change of scenery and chance to stretch our legs with an adventurous jungle trek teeming with native birds, butterflies and insects. Starting in a local village, our guides will lead the way through the forest, passing spectacular waterfalls that are perfect for a swim. Head back to the boat for a freshly cooked lunch where a relaxed afternoon awaits. Make use of the paddle-boards, explore the water and just relax on board, the choice is yours.
D A Y 6
Today sees a visit to a local pearl farm into a protected deep water cove where we can watch how this precious commodity is produced and harvested. Pearling is an important industry here and provides employment for many local people. Spend the afternoon snorkelling and kayaking amongst three small islands linked together by some pristine coral reefs, or you can simply choose to relax on the beach
D A Y 7
After breakfast on board, spend the morning exploring the limestone islands filled with coves and beautiful reef. A short walk ashore sees a climb to a vantage point where there are stunning views out across the islands. Enjoy lunch underway as Katharina heads to a small island nestled between Gam and Mansuar where the currents bring rich nutrients to the coral reefs. There are three famous jetties here offering magical underwater scenery. Schools of fish, shy black tip reef shark, elegant spade-fish and the magnificent giant clams.
D A Y 8
The centre of the Raja Ampat National Park stores many magical wonders. Start in the local village on the Mansuar island where sustainability is at the heart of life here. Education centres, solar powered street lights and sustainable fishing practices are bound by the community spirit here. The house reef offers abundant marine life where we may get lucky with a sighting of the infamous wobbegong shark.
Another underwater adventure awaits in the afternoon on the eastern point of Mansuar. Famous for its schools of fish, the hump-head wrasse and giant schools of Trevalley swim together with the resident hawksbill turtle. Finish the day with a beach BBQ and fire under the stars with your fellow guests and crew!
D A Y 9
Before dawn, begin your trek into the rainforest in search of the Red Bird of Paradise – if we are lucky, we should be able to witness the incredible mating displays in the canopy of the rainforest – a true “David Attenborough moment”. Afterwards, walk through the colourful local village and meet the wonderful people who call this paradise home and learn how they live their daily lives. Back on the boat, snorkel the famous wall on the east of Gam island before Katharina sails overnight to an island nearby Sorong.
D A Y 1 0
We will wake up anchored in Sorong and have one last hearty breakfast on board of the Katharina before venturing on our very last adventure in the Doom Island with traditional transportation called Becak. Bid farewell to the ship and crew as you head ashore for your airport transfer for onward travel.
All voyages for Katharina
Guest berths: 14 Rig: Gaff Ketch
Built in 1995 on the Indonesian portion on the island of Borneo, Katharina was originally planned for use a commercial freighter but caught the eye of her current owner with her elegant sailing lines and sleek hull shape.
They saw her transformation into a charter vessel as an exercise to conserve her Indonesian authenticity and in 2014, employed local craftsmen to complete a beautiful interior refit. Working alongside her sister ship Ombak Putih, (larger but equally as beautiful!), they are both fine examples of some of the few original boats that still sail these waters.
Now led by Captain Ferdi, Katharina takes guests on skippered sailing holidays to explore the cultural heritage, natural wonders and wildlife of the Indonesian islands.
The top deck is a raised sun-lounging area sitting on the roof of the saloon and bar, giving guests secluded relaxation and stunning views. On the main deck, Katharina is rigged traditionally to make best use of the wind as the weather permits. A generous and comfortable saloon and bar sit to the stern of the boat while a large dining table sits under a canopy at the bows, perfect for alfresco dining under the stars.
Below decks, her interior refit has been to a high standard with spacious cabins and campion-ways. Hand-crafted beds using local timber and locally made soft furnishings give the boat an authentic Indonesian feel. There are six private ensuite cabins for guests in a combination of double beds, twin bunks and three berth cabins.
The galley sits to the stern and is really where this boat comes to life. With 12 crew on hand, you won’t have to a lift a finger with freshly-prepared meals showcasing the very best of Indonesian cuisine and hospitality.
Deck planMore about Katharina
Life on board
Indulge in a world of adventure as you discover the natural beauty of the Indonesian archipelago from the water. Walk barefoot along sandy shores, enjoy delicious local cuisine and wonder at the endemic wildlife species across the islands.
Life on-board Katharina is one of traditional Indonesian culture, from the welcoming local crew to the fresh local delicacies, fascinating endemic species and breath-taking Indonesian landscapes. The local people are at the heart of everything that Katharina does. From employing local people to sail her to the traditional craftsmen that built her, the networks and connections that have been nurtured by the crew are heart-warming. Visit remote villages where you’re greeted by running children, laughing and joking, sharing their local crafts. Dance around the fire, play music, exchange gifts and wonder their fascinating corner of paradise.
Sleeping and Relaxation
With six private, air-conditioned en-suite cabins full of traditional Indonesian charm, spacious communal area, alfresco dining areas and sun-lounge deck, Katharina offers plenty of seclusion and relaxation. There are kayaks, snorkel gear and SUP’s for guests to use and the crew can arrange extra activities ashore from kite-surfing to cookery classes.
There are a total of 12 crew on Katharina so you really won’t have to lift a finger. From home-made cocktails, freshly prepared Indonesian cuisine, there is even a host to take care of any extra excursion planning.
- Full board including all meals, soft drinks, tea, coffee and snacks. (Starting and ending with lunch on first and last days)
- All Indonesian tour leaders
- All park fees, cultural performances, local guides and off-boat activities.
- Welcome drink, cold towel upon boarding and each time guests return from off-boat excursions.
- Daily room cleaning
- Two pieces of laundry each day
- Towels and linens
- Complimentary cotton backpack, luggage tag, fan and stainless steel water (which guests are encouraged to take home)
- First aid kit containing all major medicines
- Sunscreen lotion
- Soaps, shampoo and conditioner
- Beach BBQ
- Free wine, beer and selected cocktails at the beach BBQ
- Selected wines with special farewell dinner
- All port fee
- Use of on-board TV and multimedia facilities
- Library of books, kids games and TV documentaries
- Use of all facilities on board including snorkelling gear, paddle boards, kayaks, board games
- Use of sleeping bags for sleeping on deck
- All transfer to and fro the boats
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Domestic flights
- Transit hotels
- Alcoholic drinks outside of specials dinners and beach BBQ
- Crew and tour leader tips
- Incidental expenses on land (souvenirs, private purchases etc)
Are all meals included?
Yes - all meals are included in the price (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Hot Drinks)
Are there any added extra's?
No, unless you go ashore. Excursions are not included.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Vegetarian, halal, kosher, children’s fare, low fat dishes, allergies, etc. However, we must be notified in advance of any special needs so we can make arrangements.
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
(All cabins are ensuites) 2 x double cabins, 2 x triple cabins (one double bed & one upper single bunk), 2 x twin bunk cabins.
How many toilet/showers does she have?
There are six ensuites with each cabin.
Is there WIFI?
No! Time to disconnect from the modern conforms and reconnect with nature!
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
Do I need sailing experience?
No, absolutely not! Just a need for adventure.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure. Ginger tea and biscuits also help with sea sickness.
Is bedding included?
All bedding and shower towels are included. Please bring your own swimming towels.